Murder Suspect Lunges at KFDX Photojournalist

    Hearings for murder suspect Jerry Joe Garza never seem to go smoothly.
    Today was no different in 78th District Court.
    Today's hearing was supposed to a routine pre-trial procedure, but things never seem to go routine with this defendant.
    In August, he refused to leave his cell for his rights to be read.
    He was brought in the next day when his only response to the judge's questions was profanity.
    This morning, officers once again told the court he had refused to come out of his cell, so he was brought in by force this afternoon.
    Once in court, the accused killer of 32-year-old Wichita Falls mother Monica Partida once again began responding to Judge Barney Fudge's questions with profanities, so Fudge then assessed him 30 days in jail for contempt.
    And when the hearing was over, Garza mumbled profanities and threatened one of our photojournalists.
    After that confrontation, with our photographer attorneys were back in court arguing a new legal question.
    Could Garza's attorneys get a protective order for their client to keep the video from being aired, which they argued could deny him a fair trial.
    His appointed attorneys argued our video card should be confiscated so it could be viewed before broadcasting, but prosecutor Dobie Kosub told Fudge there is no case law to allow the media to be restrained prior to report on events.
    He said if media coverage made a fair trial impossible, the defense could file a motion later after the coverage, asking for a change of venue.
    Judge Fudge adjourned the proceeding to give defense attorneys time to find any previous case law and rulings that would allow such an order.
    After about 30 minutes, Public Defender Brennon Brady came back and said he had found none.
    Kosub also argued the judge has no authority over the public hallway of the courtroom where the media has a right to do their job.
    After more arguments, Judge Fudge ruled we could keep our video but must provide the court a copy for future proceedings.
    Garza's trial date has not been set.
    He was charged with Partida's murder while he was in jail for allegedly biting and assaulting two men in a bar who had reportedly danced with Partida.
    Authorities say he took a taxi to and from the murder scene.
    Garza is being held in the Wichita County Jail on $3.5 million in bonds.

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